The story says "we don't really know why people are buying more cigarettes", but come on. We know. The stress around us has increased exponentially, leading, for the first time in 20 years, to an increase in folks wanting the smoke.

The Federal Trade Commission says it's a small increase, but the first one in 20 years

Pandemic, lockdowns, isolation, the rising cost of everything, political unrest. Experts and the FTC said it all factors in.

We tried vaping, but they tightened that up, too

You're going to restrict our "safer" alternative? What the heck, we'll just go back to the real deal. That's what CNN says is happening right now, with a slight 0.4 percent increase in the sales of cigarettes in 2020. It had actually been going down every year before that but in the past year and a half, it may have been the only thing there wasn't a shortage of.

14 percent of Americans now smoke

Disturbingly, cigarette maker Altria said it believes Americans are adding “nicotine occasions to their day.” Not sure if that just means extra cigarette breaks, or like, putting it as an appointment in your calendar like Bobby's soccer practice.

The amount spent on advertising by tobacco companies is, coincidentally, increasing too. The FTC says advertising and promotion increased from $7.62 billion in 2019 to $7.84 billion in 2020.

Actually, the increase in sales represents what cigarette companies are selling to wholesalers and retailers. But clearly, they know how to read the room. The demand by the consumer was obviously there to have seen such a rare bump.

Smoke 'em if you got 'em? We certainly did a little more last year than in recent history.

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